DAVAO CITY – Senatorial aspirant Emmanuel Piñol emphasized to his critics who keep on asking about the endorsement made by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte to his candidacy in the coming May 2022 polls that he was indeed “endorsed from the heart.”
“Many are asking if I was endorsed by President Rody Duterte. My answer – If the endorsement was by raising a hand, it didn’t happen and I didn’t ask either. I have always believed that the endorsement is his to give, not mine to ask,” he clarified in a Facebook post on Saturday (April 23).
In a video clip posted on his official social media account, it can be seen that Duterte relates his impression to Piñol’s work ethic when he was then the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
“I knew Manny, he is a country boy and he works very well. I adored the level of energy that he purses into his work and he is a very industrious worker,” Duterte said in the clip.
Piñol then explained that he did not ask for it and the words that flowed from Duterte’s heart is not mixed with politics.
“I have kept and treasured this 24-second video clip of the president praising me for my dedication and my work ethic. It is more than an endorsement already,” he added.
The former Agriculture Secretary said that the words of praise from Duterte will be his badge of honor as a public servant and will be a source of pride for his family.
Friendship beyond politics
Piñol narrated that he knew the president for 11 years which started on Sept. 1, 2003, when then-Mayor Rody visited his province as a guest speaker during the Foundation Day of North Cotabato.
“The friendship was strengthened when he stood as the only Ninong of my youngest child, Bernhart Immanuel, and wedding Godfather of my eldest child, Dr. Ma. Krista. I consider him a dear friend until today, a friendship which will last beyond his Presidency,” he said.
Piñol bared that people around him tried to strain his friendship with the president by pointing out that even as Secretary of Agriculture, he did not always agree with every program that he approved, most specifically the Rice Tariffication Law.
“They were uncomfortable with me because I was noisy and they called me ‘mahangin’ for saying that the Philippines could be rice sufficient and even food sufficient.
I don’t know where these people, who benefited from his presidency now, would be after he steps down from office,” he added.
Piñol also assured that him being the ‘talkative’ Secretary of Agriculture, will always remain Duterte’s friend.
“Mr. President, my dear Pare Rody, thank you for giving me the opportunity of serving our people and for plucking me out of obscurity to become a champion of Food Security and Environmental Protection whose views are listened to by other leaders today,” he added.
Piñol further said, “I know you were not always comfortable with me because of my critical views and frankness. Remember this, my friend, only real and faithful friends would tell you the inconvenient truth.”